Kilmacud on the double in Leinster

by Gazette Reporter
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Kilmacud Crokes 4-18

Naomh Ciaran 1-10

Daire Walsh

Kilmacud Crokes completed back-to-back Leinster LGFA Senior Club Championship titles on Saturday afternoon with an emphatic triumph at the expense of Naomh Ciaran at Coralstown/Kinnegad.

Thanks to goals from Ailbhe Davoren, Niamh Cotter, Julia Buckley and Emma Kane, the Dublin champions comprehensively claimed a second consecutive provincial crown. Despite team captain Kate Kenny registering 0-8 for Ciaran, the Offaly outfit couldn’t deny Kilmacud a place in a forthcoming All-Ireland senior championship semi-final against the winners of tomorrow’s Connacht decider between reigning national champions Kilkerrin/Clonberne and Knockmore.

Inside forwards Michelle Davoren and Eabha Rutledge were key figures during Crokes’ march to top honours in the capital and this dynamic duo bagged two points apiece in the early stages of this contest. Talented dual star Kate Kenny did likewise for Ciaran with a brace of place-ball efforts, before their Metropolitan counterparts created significant daylight on the scoreboard with a 10th minute goal by Ailbhe Davoren – following a pass inside by her namesake Michelle.

The title holders were beginning to play with real confidence and grabbed their second major of the action when raiding half-back Kate Murray released Cork native Cotter for a fine finish on 13 minutes.

Either side of the third-quarter mark, Rutledge (two), Ailbhe Davoren and Cotter knocked over unanswered points in advance of Buckley firing home a third Crokes goal in the 22nd minute.

While the influential Kenny (two) and Emma Cahill found the range for Ciaran, additional points from Michelle Davoren and Rutledge left Kilmacud 3-10 to 0-5 in front at the interval.

While Kenny got the scoring underway in the second half, Crokes subsequently reasserted their authority with five points on the bounce.

The excellent Rutledge added three more scores during this juncture to supplement a point each from Mia Jennings and Michelle Davoren.

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The latter continued to lead the way from full-forward and after appearing off the bench in the second period, Kane left a sizeable impression by contributing a 1-1 salvo. To their credit, Naomh Ciaran persevered with their challenge and their midfielder Amy Gavin Mangan hammered a shot to the net on 52 minutes.

Yet with wing-back Niamh Carr also adding her name to the scoresheet, a clinical Kilmacud Crokes secured the provincial silverware in fine style.

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